Montana Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP)
Teen Pregnancy in Montana
Teens who engage in some types of risky behavior are more likely to engage in other behaviors that increase the risk for teenage pregnancy.(1) Comprehensive sex education and curricula in school and community settings have been shown to reduce teen pregnancy and associated risky behaviors.(2) It is important for Montana teens to receive non-biased education considering that:
- 46% of Montana high school students have had sex at least once in their lifetime.(3)
- 34.1% of Montana high school students are sexually active.(4)
- During 2010 and 2011, approximately 7 females aged 15-19 in Montana became pregnant and 5 gave birth each day.(5)
- Teen childbearing cost Montana taxpayers at least $29 million in 2008. Of the total costs, 41% were federal and 59% were state and local costs.(6)
What is Montana PREP?
DPHHS supports the efforts of 6 local agencies across Montana to implement Montana’s Personal Responsibility Education Program (MT PREP). MT PREP is federally funded through 2014 by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 to educate youth on abstinence and contraception, and other adult preparation topics. The goal of MT PREP is to prevent teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections and to help Montana teens go on to lead healthy, productive lives. Local agencies accomplish this by providing middle and high school students with the following evidenced-based curricula proven to teach refusal skills and change risk-taking behavior:
Draw the Line/Respect the Line
The Draw the Line/Respect the Line curriculum helps students develop personal sexual limits and practice the skills needed to maintain those limits when challenged. Healthy sexual limits will keep youth safer from HIV, other STIs and unplanned pregnancy. This 19-lesson curriculum is designed to be used either by a classroom teacher or trained family life educator in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
- In Grade 6, the emphasis is on situations in which youth may be pressured to steal, use alcohol or smoke. The 5 lessons feature limit setting and refusal skills in a nonsexual context.
- In Grade 7, pressures regarding sexual intercourse are considered. The 7 lessons feature short-term consequences of unplanned sex, information about sexually transmitted disease, and applying refusal skills in a party context.
- In Grade 8, the 7 lessons feature an HIV-positive speaker as well as practicing refusal skills in dating contexts.
Reducing the Risk
This curriculum is designed for high school students and takes an active approach to prevention of teenage pregnancy and protection against HIV and other STIs that motivates students to change their high-risk behaviors. Throughout 16 well-defined lessons, Reducing the Risk emphasizes teaching refusals, delaying tactics and alternative actions youth can use to abstain or use protection.
Preparing Youth for Adulthood
In addition to educating youth on both abstinence and contraception, PREP prepares Montana’s youth to be successful adults by focusing on the following special topics:
- Healthy Relationships
- Adolescent Development
- Educational and Career Success
- Healthy Life Skills
MT PREP Accomplishments
- 1,268 Montana youth served in FY13 (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013)
- Current areas served: Flathead, Missoula, Deer Lodge, Silver Bow, Jefferson, Beaverhead, and Custer counties, and the Northern Cheyenne Reservation
- MT PREP implemented across a variety of sites:
- 16 Middle and High schools
- 1 After-school program
- 2 Alternative schools for at-risk youth
- 2 Juvenile justice programs
- 1 Community based organization (Boys and Girls Club)
- 1 Job Corps site
Kimberly Koch, MPH
Health Program Representative
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
Women's and Men's Health Section
1400 E Broadway A116
Helena MT 59620
(1) ETR Associates and the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. A Matrix of Risk and Protective Factors Affecting Teen Sexual Behavior, Pregnancy, Childbearing and Sexually Transmitted Disease, November 2007.
(2) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TEEN PREGNANCY: Improving the lives of Young People and Strengthening Communities by Reducing Teen Pregnancy. At A Glance 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/aag/teen-preg.htm
(3) 2013 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey, High School Results, MT Office of Public Instruction, p.55
(4) 2013 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey, High School Results, MT Office of Public Instruction, p.46
(5) Teen Birth & Pregnancy Report 2012: Trends in Teen Births: 2002-2011, Montana Department of Health & Human Services, p.2
(6) National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. Counting It Up: The Public Costs of Teen Childbearing in Montana in 2008. June 2011. http://www.thenationalcampaign.org/costs/pdf/counting-it-up/fact-sheet-montana.pdf